This week, we look at questions about how to find safe CBD, when to expect your dividend payments, and whether farmers should be looking to plant hemp. Check it out…

As cannabis becomes available to wider audiences, prospective consumers share a key concern: Are these products safe?

Product quality and safety are the number one concern for consumers at this stage of the markets. As Jennifer Dianne Thomas, Corporate Legal Officer of Province Brands of Canada, shared at last week’s MJBizConNEXT, addressing this concern should be a central part of any cannabis company’s branding.

All of this rang true when we received the following question from one of our members:

Poggy asks: “Stock investments aside, how does a person know they are getting the real thing and not some fake type of CBD?”

Poggy, you’ve hit on one of the most difficult issues in the CBD industry today. It’s difficult not only for consumers, but for the industry overall – after all, if someone spends $40 or more on fake CBD, they’re not likely to become a repeat customer, because they’ll think the CBD doesn’t do anything for them.

As a consumer looking for the real thing, I’d stick to known brands in known stores. In fact, if you choose one of the more recent big chains that are carrying CBD, like CVS, Walgreens, Safeway, Albertsons, Wegmans, Kroger, etc., you can know that those stores have vetted all of their suppliers very carefully. They did not go lightly into the CBD market.

For stores with a longer history, stick to known brands. Charlotte’s Web (TSX: CWEB, OTC: CWBHF), Elixinol (ASX: ELLXF, OTC: ELLXF), Isodiol (CSE: ISOL, OTC: ISOLF), CV Sciences (OTC: CVSI), Curaleaf (CSE: CURA, OTC: CURLF), and CBD for Life are all brands I’ve looked at personally and would trust.

You can also look for packaging that displays one of the following certifications:

  • USP Verified Mark
  • USDA Organic
  • Non-GMO Project Butterfly
  • Glyphosate Free
  • U.S. Hemp Authority

If you’re still concerned, take down the websites of a few brands in the store you’re shopping at and check them out at home. You can usually tell from the website whether the company is a serious CBD company or a fly-by-night.

I also only recommend companies my team and I have researched thoroughly, so you can always trust products from any of the picks in our model portfolio. (Make sure you know how to gain access to that.)

The best news is that the problem of fake CBD is starting to go away. More and more stores are being increasingly careful about which vendors they choose to do business with. Soon, as long as you’re not in a sketchy headshop, you should be fine.

Our next question this week involves something that’s currently a rarity in cannabis stocks: dividends.

Gene M. says: “I have 100 shares of SVBI, your report said they paid a dividend of $0.12. My question is how will I be notified of this dividend? Thanks for all the info you send.”

Hi, Gene. If you hold your shares for Severn Bancorp (Nasdaq: SVBI) in a brokerage account, the dividend money will automatically be credited to your account on the correct day. If you hold them elsewhere, you’d have to check with whoever physically holds the shares to find out how you’re notified.

You should also sign up to get investor emails from each company whose stock you own – in fact, you should do that for every stock in your portfolio, not just the dividend payers. You can do that for Severn Bancorp here.

Most companies pay dividends quarterly, and Severn Bancorp is no exception. So four times each year you will receive $0.03 per share in cash until the company changes the dividend rate.

For this quarter, though, I’ll save you the trouble of signing up. Your most recent dividend was paid by the bank on Monday, June 17 – so you should have noticed it in your brokerage account on Monday or Tuesday.

Our last question comes from a farmer who’s hoping to capitalize on the hemp movement.

Phil R. wants to know: “Can you give an idea on how to get positioned to offer property I have for hemp crops? I’ve talked with Farm Management at our bank and they have indicated it will be several years till anything really happens. I don’t think it will take that long and want to be in a position I can move quickly. Property is in Kansas.”

Hi, Phil! I think you’re right, and the bankers are wrong. Hemp is poised to grow in Kansas in significant volumes fairly soon.

In Kansas it is not yet legal to grow hemp primarily for commercial sale – the crops must be a form of research. However, it definitely makes sense to start getting informed, because I think commercial hemp may come to Kansas as soon as next year, not several years like your bankers fear.

In terms of a research crop, it may be too late for you this year – it looks like applications closed on June 1. I’d make three contacts if I wanted to become a hemp grower. The first is to join the U.S. Hemp Farming Alliance. That’s the farmer-specific sister organization to the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, a prestigious hemp advocacy group that also certifies crops.

Second, I’d call your state’s Department of Agriculture. Regulations around growing hemp are more onerous than those governing other crops, and even if you missed the window this year you’ll want to be ready for next year. Just because 2019 is the “Year of CBD” doesn’t mean we won’t continue to see even more incredible growth in the years to come. And perhaps Kansas will even try to have a winter hemp growing season – it’s apparently a good cover crop for some purposes.

And third, it’s never too early to start making contacts with potential customers. You’ll definitely want a customer before you plant, because different customers want different cultivars of hemp. If you end up growing a strain that no one wants, you’ll lose out.

Good luck, and be sure to tell me how it goes!

As always, I welcome all of our members to leave questions in the comments. Your participation in the Institute is what makes this service stand out above anything else out there.

I’ll be back on Monday for an update on what happened in New York this week, so be sure to look out for that report.

Greg Miller
Executive Director, National Institute for Cannabis Investors


3 responses to “Q&A: How Do I Make Sure My CBD Is Safe?”

  1. Thanks for the info on CBD, however, I’d like to know what the ingredients should be. Seen so.e with glycol and vegetable oils. Shouldn’t it be only CBS oil with less that .3 the? I’m a label reader!

  2. I am a 84 year old woman, widow, and with little savings. I am worrying about how I support myself as I spend what I have. I have considered buying some stock (for myself but also to leave to help family members in the future. I pro-vide some income for some of them. I would like to have a counselor for this situation but have no one with whom to talk, trust, with my thoughts. Do you advise or sell and advise. I have been taught to not trust sales people. where do I turn?

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